Liverpool FC have kept three clean sheets in their opening three Premier League game. One player who has played a key part in the revival of the Reds’ defence has been 18-year-old defender Joe Gomez.
Liverpool FC appointed the then England U-19 coach Sean O’Driscoll as their assistant manager in the summer. The England U-19 coach, had in his rank, at the time, a talented youngster from Charlton called Joe Gomez. While we do not know for sure if Sean O’Driscoll recommended the Reds to sign the defender, but he has been an inspired singing.
He was signed by Liverpool FC from Charlton Atheltic in the summer in a A?3.5million ($5.5million, 5million euros) deal having progressed quickly at Charlton. He played for the U18 side at the age of 13 and made 21 appearances in the Championship in the 2014/15 season.
Gomez was part of the English national side that won the European U17 Championships last summer, and was named in the team of the tournament in the process. His performances earned him comparisons with former England star Rio Ferdinand, whom Gomez idolizes.
It was expected that the defender would be loaned out to gain experience. However, after a splendid pre-season where he earned rave reviews from the Liverpool fans and coaches alike, the defender was not only kept at Anfield at the expense of a much experienced Andre Wisdom (who was loaned out), but also managed to keep Spain international Alberto Moreno out of the starting eleven in the opening three games for Liverpool FC.
Liverpool have kept clean sheets in all three games. This, when he not a full-back but a centre-back. Not only that, but he is also not a left-footed player, but has been deployed as a left-back.
Having replaced a much more attack-minded and defensively undisciplined Alberto Moreno at left-back, the player has looked rock solid in all three games. Playing with composure and having pace to burn, so much that he outpaced Hector Bellerin in the recent Arsenal FC clash, Gomez looks like a tremendous addition.
Moreno had an indifferent last season, with his defensive frailties costing the club against Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea FC, and Arsenal FC games.
The problem for Liverpool FC’s defence was compounded with Dejan Lovren also playing on the left with Moreno failing to cover his errors. And boy, there were a few. Lovren has a tendency to press too much and also has a poor positional sense. With Moreno suffering from the same problem and wandering too much on the left flank, Lovren was exposed further. The result was that Liverpool FC defence was leaking goals at will.
The addition of Gomez has not only secure the left side of Liverpool FC defence with a solid presence, it also has helped Lovren perform much better and the result has led to Liverpool FC not looking as vulnerable as before.
Gomez has won more tackles than any other left-back in the Premier League with 58% of the duels going his way. With 3, he has blocked more shots than any other left-sided defender in the league. He also leads the table in interceptions, having read the situation 9 times. And to cap it off, he has made 17 clearances, the most by any left-back in the league.
a Russell Cane (@RussCane) August 25, 2015
He has played against Stoke’s Walters, Bournemouth’s Richie, and Arsenal FC’s Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain. Stoke and Arsenal FC away, and Bournemouth at home are not easy ties and these opponents contain players who are certainly not easy to play against. He has come out with flying colors against each of these players. The next big test will come in the form of Juan Mata, when the Reds travel to Manchester United after the international break. A solid performance there will seal any doubt, if any remains, that Gomez is a special player.